Truphone bills itself as the first global network operator and in an age where international roaming bills can run up quite quickly, having the company in your corner can make predictable international voice, data and text pricing a reality. As a reminder, in order to use the service, you need an unlocked device and a supplied SIM card. The last time I covered (see below) the company they were introducing their international sharing plan and since then they have added countries – there are now eight. The service allows you to not only travel to various countries using a pool of international minutes; you are also given local international numbers. For example, your contacts in the UK call you on a local number to them which rings to you wherever you happen to be.
The big news from the company today is they are leaping from eight countries of coverage to a total of 66. Yes, 66 countries in total. Your phone will work in them all as you travel but for now you won’t be able to get local numbers in these new jurisdictions.
The specifics you need to know are the eight countries covered so far are in the Truphone Zone plan while Truphone World covers all 66. According to the company, this region accounts for over 70% of all international travel routes – including all of Europe and key business destinations in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. And just to show my ignorance, I never heard of Oceania before today but Wikipedia seems to think it is a group of countries around Australia such as Micronesia which if memory serves was an important part of the plot in the movie Zoolander.
But of course I digress. I spoke just now with Pascal deHesselle Head of Marketing in the Americas for the company and he explained how exciting this news is for the company and how customers are elated to be able to roam in more places for one fixed price. What is that price you ask, well you get 500 minutes of voice, 500 MB data and 500 text messages for $70/month and 1000 of the three items above are priced at $100/month. Another interesting point of note is the company also offers a shared plan with a gargantuan ½ a terabyte of data.
Also, here is a bit more on the countries...
The Truphone eight Zone are: US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Spain and the additional 58 Truphone World countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Monaco, Portugal, Reunion Island, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Vatican City, Mayotte, Albania, Andorra, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, China, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Belarus, Argentina and Turkey
Pascal also talked about how the company has many international network nodes which help differentiate Truphone from others in the space. The idea is that instead of sending packets from China back to the US, you have them route to their local equipment in Hong Kong.
The bottom line here is Truphone is looking to become the company you go to when you want to reduce your international roaming costs and provide customers with local international telephone numbers. The massive expansion from eight to 58 countries is a huge improvement in the company’s reach and means you really should look at them seriously to help manage your international telecom costs.
See how I managed in Europe using a number of other broadband and roaming providers. I hope to test Truphone out as well in the near future.
Update May 21, 11:54 pm EST: Here is a marketing video from the company which reinforces much of the article above using European accents which most people in the US will appreciate